The struggle for the soul and future of the Democratic Party has descended into ugly dysfunctional family territory now.
The elders of the village, led by the once-formidable Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her faithful, long-serving lieutenants are at odds with a handful of young upstarts led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), all of whom have around six months of experience on Capitol Hill.
It began as — and continues to be — a fight over the impeachment of President Trump, but it is about so much more.
Most media treatments of this battle frame it as centrist Democrats vs progressive Democrats, which is patently absurd. They’re all progressives now, the older ones just want to play a political game where they pretend they aren’t.
They want to slow-play the march to socialism that they all long for, and are upset that AOC and Co. are tipping the party’s hand.
Over the weekend, Pelosi went to her safe space at The New York Times to express some of her frustration with the new kids on the block:
I asked Pelosi whether, after being the subject of so many you-go-girl memes for literally clapping back at Trump, it was jarring to get a bad headline like the one in HuffPost that day — “What The Hell Is Nancy Pelosi Doing?” The article described the outrage of the Squad, as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts are known.
Pelosi feels that the four made themselves irrelevant to the process by voting against “our bill,” as she put it, which she felt was the strongest one she could get. “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” she said. “But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”
AOC — who has been assured by almost everyone in the mainstream media that she is brilliant and will one day be She Empress of the Cosmos — was not amused:
“A glass of water could’ve [beat a 20-yr incumbt]”
“The Green Dream or whatever”
“Their public whatever”
Those aren’t quotes from me; they‘re from the Speaker. Having respect for ourselves doesn’t mean we lack respect for her.
It means we won’t let everyday people be dismissed. https://t.co/VMRkcd8xlL
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 8, 2019
That was actually one of AOC’s milder rebukes of Pelosi, but the implication was clear: we have our own agenda and will not be dissuaded by petty concerns like party unity.
It is unusual for internecine squabbles among Democrats to get much media attention. The MSM likes to close ranks and protect their own, after all. Should two members of the GOP in Congress disagree about where to go to lunch, however, they’ll all write about a “Republican civil war!”
AOC is the media’s “Precious” now though, and she shall not be spoken badly about, even if the one speaking is a Democrat and two heartbeats away from the presidency.
The leftmedia are now openly pondering the implications of this tug-of-war.
New York magazine had a roundtable discussion that at one point accused Pelosi of having a “poor long-term strategy.”
Far-left Slate wondered “What Happened to Unity” and had a sub-headline that said the tussle “signals trouble ahead for House Democrats.”
CNN ran a post that asked why Pelosi was “helping Trump” by “slamming AOC.” It was disguised as an opinion piece but it’s not difficult to imagine all of the “journalists” at CNN getting sore necks from nodding in agreement.
CNN does have a point though. I wrote in March that AOC and her cohorts are going to continue to not only be a distraction for Pelosi, but for the eventual Democratic nominee as well.
While polling doesn’t mean that much, one of the recent ones in which the president does very well, has him winning if voters believe his opponent is a socialist.
Even though Democrats don’t say the word “socialist” a lot, voters know where the progressives want to take us.
AOC’s lack of shyness about getting there in a hurry could bode very, very well for the president’s re-election chances.